An innovative module for final-year medical students involves bespoke teaching from Giskin Day, Principal Teaching Fellow in the Centre for Languages, Culture & Communication.Student with artwork

The module, devised and led by Dr Ros Herbert in the Department for Primary Care, consists of a series of eye-opening placements for students. They shadow GPs working with the homeless, refugees and other marginalised sections of the community. They even spend a day observing the challenges of delivering healthcare in Wandsworth Prison. This is an emotionally challenging module, and Giskin’s involvement is to help students to process their responses to their involvement on their placements. Students create an artwork in any medium that captures an aspect of their experiences. To prepare them for this, the students visit a current exhibition of artwork with Giskin, usually one that showcases social responses to health inequalities. They are then encouraged to process their own responses to their placements in an ethical way. This means that they do not merely appropriate the stories of the hardships of others, but respect that people own their own stories to which this module affords them a privileged insight.

The gallery visits and the artwork that students create is shown in a blog called Temoignage - a term used by Medicins Sans Frontieres to describe a willingness to speak out about what has been witnessed.

Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching

Imafidon Oboh wrote this creative piece about his experiences

Quote from a student

"It was good to try and connect with your creative side. It was a way of coping with the stresses. Just to use a different part of your brain was therapeutic."